BURLINGTON, N.C.-- A former Alamance-Burlington Schools bus driver made his first appearance in court Friday.
John Crawford is facing a felony child abuse charge, after an 8-year-old boy was hit by a car, while getting off his bus last month.
Crawford was quiet and calm as the charges were read to him in court.
"Mr. Crawford, you're charged with negligent child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury," said the judge.
Crawford has a clean criminal record.
But he could face a maximum sentence of four years in prison if he's convicted, according to Alamance County District Attorney Pat Nadolski.
"We want to resolve the case appropriately and make sure justice is served," said Nadolski. "This is a very serious case and a very significant case. It involves serious bodily injury to an eight-year-old child."
The crash happened on N-C 62 near Elder Lane in Alamance County on May 16.
According to NC State Highway Patrol (NCSHP), a student from E-M Holt Elementary was hit by a car while getting off the bus Crawford was driving.
Troopers say Crawford didn't have the required stop arm out or warning lights flashing prior to the student getting off the school bus.
The student was taken to Alamance Regional Hospital before being airlifted to UNC Medical Center.
Nadolski says the state is pursuing felony charges against Crawford because his "gross negligence" is to blame for the boy's injuries.
"I think the law attaches a special significance to children being taken care of properly," said Nadolski. "When it's not done, and when there is gross negligence, this would be the appropriate charge."
Crawford is due back in court on June 14.
The driver who hit the student isn't facing in charges.
The victim's condition is unknown at the time of this report.
But teachers staff at E-M Holt Elementary say they've checked on him and they're "pleased with his progress."
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Many of you commented on our Facebook page about the driver being charged with Felony Child Abuse. Friday WFMY News 2's Ben Powell asked the Alamance County District Attorney about the charges.
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